The Directors Guild of America has announced its nominations for the 2021 awards season. The Award is considered a thermometer for the Best Director category at the Oscars. Before the 2020 DGA Awards ceremony, the last six DGA winners were repeated at the Oscars: Alfonso Cuarón for Pomegranate, Guillermo del Toro by The Shape of Water, Damien Chazelle by La La Land, and Alejandro Iñárritu by The Return and Birdman. Last year, Sam Mendes won the DGA 1917, but it was Bong Joon Ho who prevailed at the Oscars for Parasite.
The Directors Guild of America started awarding a debut feature award from 2015 and did it again in 2021. The five winners of DGA’s first work to date have been Alex Garland for Ex Machina, Garth Davis by Lion, Jordan Peele for Run!, Bo Burnham for Eighth grade and Alma Ha’rel for Honey Boy.
First-time nominees are Radha Blank with The Forty-Year-Old Version, Fernando Frías de la Parra with Ya No Estoy Here, Regina King with One Night in Miami, Darius Marder with The sound of silence and Florian Zeller with My father.
The DGA, traditionally one of the most male-dominated unions in Hollywood, has for the first time appointed two women, Zhao and Fennell, in their feature film direction category. Zhao is also the first Asian woman nominated in the category of feature film director.
(Taylor Jewell / Reproduction)Source: Taylor Jewell
Before that, the Union of Directors of America had nominated women in the feature film category only eight times, the last being Greta Gerwig in 2018 for Lady Bird. However, this year, two more women, Radha Blank and Regina King, were also nominated in the category of DGA’s Best Feature Film Direction.
Zhao, who won the award for best director at the Golden Globe, and Fincher, who had already been nominated twice as best director, for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and The social network, seem to be the favorites for direction. This year’s DGA nominations put Sorkin on the radar, who is best known for his work as a screenwriter, for the director’s Oscar race, as well as Fennell, who also received a nomination for best director at the Golden Globe.
Notable absences from nominations are Paul Greengrass, with World Reports (News of the World), Spike Lee with Detachment Blood (Da 5 Bloods), Shaka King, with Judas and the Black Messiah (Judas and the Black Messiah) and George C. Wolfe with The Supreme Voice of the Blues (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom).
The group pays homage to two non-whites among the nominees for Best Feature Film Director, Korean-American director Chung and Chinese director Zhao. In addition, non-whites among the nominees for the Best Feature Film Premiere, with black directors Radha Blank and Regina King and Mexican Fernando Frías de la Parra.
DGA also announced on Monday its nominations in the TV, documentary and commercial categories.
The 73rd edition of the Union of Directors of America Award will take place on Saturday, April 10, 2021.
Check out the nominations in the film categories below.
Notable Achievement in the Feature Film Direction in 2020
- Lee Isaac Chung – Minari (A24)
- Emerald Fennell – Beautiful Revenge (Focus Features)
- David Fincher – Mank (Netflix)
- Aaron Sorkin – The Chicago 7 (Netflix; DreamWorks Pictures)
- Chloé Zhao – Nomadland (Searchlight Pictures)
Outstanding Achievement of a New Feature Film Director in 2020
- Radha Blank – The Forty-Year-Old Version (Netflix)
- Fernando Frías de la Parra – Ya No Estoy Aquí (Netflix)
- Regina King – One Night in Miami (Amazon Studios)
- Darius Marder – The Sound of Silence (Amazon Studios)
- Florian Zeller – My Father (Sony Pictures Classics)
Notable Achievement in the Direction of a Documentary in 2020
- Michael Dweck & Gregory Kershaw – The Truffle Hunters (Sony Pictures Classics)
- Pippa Ehrlich & James Reed – Professor Polvo (Netflix)
- David France – Welcome to Chechnya (HBO Max)
- Amanda McBaine & Jesse Moss – Boys State (Apple / A24)
- Benjamin Ree – The Painter and the Thief (Elevation Pictures)